Portrait of the Ecological Self
by Kimberly Callas
Paper Presentation the Unlikely Self Panal
CAA Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, February, 2014
Artwork, Photos, Text ©2014 Kimberly Callas
This paper was presented at the Annual Conference of the College Art Association, as part of the Unlikely Self panel, in Chicago, IL, February, 2014
The featured photo is me at the podium practicing my talk next to the 20 feet screen in front of a 1000 empty chairs.
“Is there an ‘ecological self’? Is there a place within us that remembers we are nature? Can this ‘self’ hold the answers about how to live sustainably within the cycles and limits of our home planet? I explore these questions through the art project, ‘Portrait of the Ecological Self.’
Since the ‘ecological self’ is not always visible in our physical form, we might not see ourselves as especially connected to nature. Using natural materials, I have created a series of inventive self portraits that allows me to think in terms of being interconnected with all of nature. In this view, the traditional portrait changes to include more than the physical body and now includes nature’s materials, rhythms, and other species. Wasp paper becomes skin and roots grow from my feet. I become a cave, a bee, or a bush, challenging even the notion of ‘self.’”
I invite you to join in on the project by filling out this ‘ecological self’ four question survey at: https://kimberlycallas.com/survey/
The survey will help me connect with interesting subjects, create a baseline for meta themes across the survey population, and begin the exploratory process with other individuals. If you also include your contact and mailing information, I will mail you a handmade print for filling out the survey.